In a passionate thirty minute call, Feingold stressed, "This is an important moment to see if we're gonna try and end this war. Frankly, I'm disappointed that Democrats are playing it safe on this one."
"We need to play hardball on this. We're gonna have to take the lead on this issue and we're gonna need to tie this place up as long as it takes," he said in describing what he sees as a fear and timidity in his colleagues who now hold a slight majority in the Senate...
"The problem is a whole lot of middle-of-the-road Democrats who refuse to pull the trigger, who refuse to do what needs to be done," Feingold stressed. "Even people who voted against the war" seem afraid, he explained. "It requires courage. It requires brinksmanship."
As we previously reported last Spring, after a bloggers' lunch with Feingold in Los Angeles, the progressive third-term Senator continues to place a great deal of blame for the failure to act among his colleagues on the "Washington insiders, particularly from the previous administration...who say if you're going to take a tough stand, they're going to tear you apart."
He said the advice of the "media consultants" and "power structure in Washington" has led fellow Democrats to believe they'll be criticized if they withhold funding for a war they previously supported. Those same insiders, he explained, previously supported the war and are now scared to death about what would happen if their clients --- many of whom who have now admitted their initial support for the war was a mistake --- now took a tough stand to undue that mistake.
"They want their cake and to eat it too since they voted for the war. They're trying to have it both ways. That has to end because Americans are dying unnecessarily. Too many of my colleagues are trying to massage this and have it both ways. That has to end."
Feingold was also critical of John Edwards who, he says, has been "masquerading" as a critic of the war, but whose proposal so far only calls for refusing to fund the proposed Bush troop escalation in Iraq. Even he, Feingold said, fails in his rhetoric to call for withdraw and a full defunding of the current debacle.